Need a new lawn mower for that mangy front yard? The state of Maryland can help you out.

In an initiative aimed at improving air quality in the state, the Department of Transportation and the Department of the Environment are offering discounts on electric lawn mowers.

Using a gas lawn mower for an hour emits the same amount of pollution as a car trip from Annapolis to Frederick, state transportation officials said.

Residents can register for a voucher program to save up to $300 when buying a new Black and Decker electric lawn mower if they trade in a working gas mower. To register via the Internet, go to The voucher is redeemable from 8 to 11 a.m. June 19 at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland at College Park.

The departments also teamed up last weekend to offer free "environmentally friendly" gas cans in exchange for old gas cans in Charles, Prince George's, Montgomery and Frederick counties. The roughly 2 million gas cans in the Washington region emit about 18 tons of air pollution a day, according to the Transportation Department.

"Exchanging gas cans or choosing to use an electric lawn mower will not solve the entire [air pollution] problem, but these are steps people can take on their own to make a real difference," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan in a statement released last week.

-- Joshua Partlow